It’s Friday, meaning the MLB is out in full force with a great evening slate of 14 games, starting at 7:05 ET. Don’t get me wrong, MLB day games during the week are fun and all, but it really makes for better daily fantasy contests when all/most of the games are played at night. Not only are the prize pools usually bigger, but there is less overlap in choosing the same players as well. What I’m saying is, “get in while the getting is good”…and you can take that advice by checking out the following guaranteed FanDuel tournaments for tonight:
- DFBC Qualifier – 1st place = DFBC Finals Ticket + Trip to Las Vegas — $10 entry
- MLB Monster — $125,000 prize pool — $20,000 1st place – $200 entry
- MLB Strikeout — $60,000 prize pool — $8,000 1st place — $25 entry
- MLB Line Drive – $15,0000 prize pool — $2,000 1st place — $10 entry
- KOTD Satellites for every entry level: $2, $5, $10, $25, $50
The ensuing picks should help you construct a winning lineup for this evening. I wrote up some of my favorite players from each position, along with a few “quick hitters” that didn’t quite make my top plays list, but I still thought they were worth a mention. Enjoy, and best of luck in all your fantasy baseball contests!
Sonny Gray (OAK) $8,000: Gray has been fantastic in his first three starts of the 2014 campaign, and tonight he gets a home matchup against the strikeout-happy Astros. After starting the season surprisingly strong, the Houston bats have regressed back to a level similar to last year’s league-worst club. They have scored two runs or less in majority of their games, leading to a dead last ranking in runs scored and batting average (.188). Needless to say, this is a great spot for Gray to keep his hotstreak alive.
Jason Vargas (KC) $5,500: I’m not sure which is more surprising, the fact that Vargas has a 1.64 ERA in three starts, or Minnesota’s offensive surge to begin the season, ranking them second overall in total runs scored. Something’s gotta give on Friday night, as Vargas will try to slow down a Twins team averaging 6 runs per game in their past two series. I really like Vargas’ chances tonight, as he pitched a solid game against Minnesota last week (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 K). Run support may be a bit of an issue, but the Royals are favored to win this evening, which helps alleviate some concerns on that front.
Evan Gattis (ATL) $3,400: Gattis has been absolutely raking it in lately, going 9/13 with 3 HR and 5 RBI in his last three games. After receiving the day off last night, Gattis will be in a great spot to keep the momentum going against the left-hander Jonathan Niese, which sets up as a nice R/L matchup for him to exploit.
Prince Fielder (TEX) $3,900: Fielder finally belted his first homerun of the season last series vs Seattle, and he’s in a position to get another one against Chicago’s shaky right-hander, Felipe Paulino. Paulino has gotten hit extremely hard in three starts this year, and he may have a tough time “righting the ship” against a dangerous Rangers lineup featuring Fielder in the cleanup spot.
Quick Hitter — Ryan Howard (PHI) $3,400: Great power, facing a right-handed pitcher, at Colorado’s Coors Field…another 1B with substantial HR potential tonight.
Chase Utley (PHI) $4,400: If you are in a position to spend at second base, Utley is your guy today. He’s playing in the projected highest scoring game of the day in Colorado’s hitter-friendly environment. It is tempting to take multiple Philly bats tonight, but Utley is probably the most reliable of the bunch.
Quick Hitter – Scooter Gennett (MIL) $2,500: If you find Utley’s cost prohibitive, Gennett is a cheap “platoon” guy who will likely give you positive numbers for this minimal price.
David Wright (NYM) $3,600: The “price is Wright” for David, as he started to finally gain some momentum in his last series at Arizona. He has a nice matchup against the often generous pitching of Aaron Harang, who Wright has abused throughout his career.
Xander Bogaerts (BOS) $2,900: He’s swinging a hot stick right now, and his price tag has yet to account for his latest surge. With Bogaerts you get a little bit of everything: potential for contact, stolen bases, and runs within a high-octane Boston offense.
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) $4,700: Home matchup, in Coors field, vs a subpar right-handed pitcher…sign me up! CarGo is an extremely enticing premium outfield option tonight, and if you are spending at the position, I think he’s the first name you need to consider. The only downside is Philadelphia pitcher, Pettibone, has the tendency to induce ground-balls and line-drives, which may limit some power potential. Regardless, the Rockies should hit him hard tonight with CarGo as the leading candidate to inflict the most damage.
Matt Kemp (LAD) $4,100: This is a terrific matchup for the Dodgers’ right-handed bats (including Puig, Ramirez, Uribe) with the handedness advantage over Arizona’s shaky pitcher, Wade Miley. Kemp is my favorite pick to seize this opportunity, as he is the healthiest of the Dodger sluggers and swinging the bat relatively well at the moment.
Charlie Blackmon (COL) $3,500: As I mentioned in the CarGo write-up, I’m expecting the Rockies to jump all over Pettibone tonight, making Blackmon a solid mid-range pick as Colorado’s leadoff man. Blackmon flies under the radar in the fantasy baseball world, as he’s a “platoon” guy who generally only plays when a righty is on the mound. However, it’s hard to ignore his hot start to the season (.411 avg), and the matchup potential suggest another solid line this evening.
Quick Hitter — Mitch Moreland (TEX) $2,400: Take what I said about Prince Fielder and apply it to Moreland, who offers plenty of power upside for this minimal price.